The world's largest Christian music and entertainment site is taking a stand against what they call a "disturbing and growing trend" in Christian music - explicit language.
In an editorial posted earlier this month, New Release Today's founder Kevin McNeese announced that the site was implementing a coverage ban on any releases containing "explicit/profane/blasphemous/sexual language defined by the general society as obscene."
McNeese says the ban is a reaction to a growing trend of adult language in Christian music.
"I'm a bit concerned that we are at the early stages of what I view as an epidemic." he writes, "More and more artists are going independent of a record label, vying for attention in an increasingly difficult musical environment while justifying their poor lyrical choices a hundred different ways."
"Let's make this clear from the start: I have zero percent pity for artists who say they struggle with not being able to find a way to effectively communicate in their music without cussing. Swearing has ZERO place in Christian music. End of story. And it's time for artists of any faith to knock it off."
McNeese points to several recent CCM releases, critiquing Hillsong United's use of the phrase "Even when it hurts like hell" in one of their songs, and King's Kaleidoscope's recent use of the F-bomb in their song 'A Prayer'.
"I don't really care what emotion the band was trying to convey." McNeese says of King's Kaleidoscope, "The very use of the word put up instant barriers against their ministry. They lost festival appearances over it. Tour bookings. Retail shelf space. Radio silence. Like, literally--radio pulled their music. They created mass division within their own fan base and folks on both sides of the issue lost their collective minds. And that big, red EXPLICIT icon next to the song title looks fantastic. The facts are this: The band's overall ministry footprint was hurt and reduced. Over a word. Worth it for the sake of "lyrical integrity and honesty?"
The editorial also takes aim at the hip-hop world, which they consider particularly problematic. McNeese says Kanye West's claim that his latest album 'The Life of Pablo' was a gospel album makes about as much sense as "giving KFC gift certificates to PETA members."
McNeese blames the decline of the record label and increasing autonomy of the artist for CCM's new language problem, suggesting that artists no longer have the necessary accountability to make good choices with their message.
Read the full statement here.